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Hands-On

First Look: Iogear Quantum Thunderbolt 3 Pro 85 dock for 15-inch MacBook Pro

Iogear is back with another Thunderbolt 3 dock with some connectivity and power improvements including a front-mounted USB 3.1 generation 1 type-C port.

Iogear GTD735 dock front



The Iogear Quantum Thunderbolt 3 Pro 85 Thunderbolt 3 dock (model GTD735) is just about the same size as the rest of the docks we've looked at, minus a few of the more vertically-oriented ones. And like all of the Thunderbolt 3 docks we've seen so far, the power supply is still pretty giant.

Iogear dock GTD735 with power supply



Iogear has changed up the available ports a bit since the last release. On the front, the new dock has a 5Gbit/sec USB 3.1 type C generation 1 port, and a USB 3.0 type A 5Gbit/sec port.

On the back is a fairly standard assortment of ports. Standard ports include the two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports capable of providing 85W of charging power which is an improvement over the 15W on the previous Iogear dock, one USB 3.0 type A port, Gigabit Ethernet, and a 4K DisplayPort capable of 60 Hz refresh. A discrete microphone jack, plus another for a headset round out the ports.

Iogear GTD735 dock back



Also, like most of the docks, there's an enclosed, short, passive Thunderbolt 3 cable included that is mostly useless for more than just testing the device out when you get it. So, like with nearly every other Thunderbolt 3 examination we've done, plan on $50 or more for a longer cable in most situations in a separate purchase.

Initial examination of connectivity still shows good dual-4K support, with the DisplayPort and the Thunderbolt 3 pass-through port utilized for displays.

We've only performed rudimentary examinations of the dock so far. We can say that the USB 3.1 Type C port on the front and the pass-through Thunderbolt 3 port support UASP for the fastest transfers possible given the limitations of each port. We've also tested connecting a SSD in conjunction with a pair of 4K monitors and haven't seen any issues —but a more detailed benchmark breakdown will wait for a full review.

What we do like is the lack of heat pouring off the device. With nearly every other dock we've used, the cases get pretty hot to the touch, and we've been reluctant to mount them to a monitor, or to put them in an enclosed space out of the way. This isn't the case with the Iogear Quantum Thunderbolt 3 Pro 85, so it's a bit easier to jam the dock someplace and not worry about an overheat situation.

We'll be examining the GTD735 a bit more in the coming weeks.

The Iogear GTD735 Thunderbolt 3 dock retails for $299. However, it is routinely available from Amazon for less than $250.